If, after reviewing each other’s books, both authors agree to trade blurbs, the following rules should be assumed:
1. The reviews do not have to have the same star rating.
2. It’s fine to critique (in fact it usually makes a more solid, believable review) but reviews should be overall positive. Even a two or three star review should mean “There were a lot of issues, but the book is still worth reading.” If you don’t feel the book is worth reading and can’t recommend it, gracefully bow out by telling the author it’s not your thing, or you’re too busy (you can give pointers on how to improve if you want, but you’re under no obligation to do so.)
3. The authors can’t protest, disagree with or edit the reviews. If a review is posted that you genuinely can’t stand, you could ask the other author to remove it and they probably will (although we strongly advise just leaving it up).
4. It is generally acceptable to shorten the review or pull out a few keywords to save space.
“This is a fast-paced page turner that kept me up all night. Readers of action books will find it exciting. There were some pacing and characterization issues, but mostly I found it enjoyable.” –>>> “Exciting and enjoyable.”
5. You can apply to swap blurbs with books outside your genre, and it’s fine for building reviews, but the most effective use of BlurbTrade will be building your author platform by getting your review on to other books in your genre.
6. Attribution of the other author should be (unless otherwise directed)
—Author Name, author of Book Title
7. If you send an author your book and don’t hear back from them, you can politely check in once about 10 days later to make sure they got your email. After that, just assume they’re too busy or not interested.
8. If someone sends you a book and you don’t plan to review it, please respond so that they know. You can just write: “Thanks for sending me a copy of your book, unfortunately I don’t have time to read it right now but I wish you the best of luck!”
9. Trading reviews should be easy, fun and painless. It shouldn’t become a negotiation, or a heavy commitment. If you become a pain in the ass, haggle with other authors, send angry emails or are otherwise rash and unfriendly, we’ll ban you from BlurbTrade.
10. Important: when people contact you, we don’t give them your email. You’ll receive their “application” from our email, “[email protected]” – so you can’t just hit reply. If you want to answer them and send them your book, make sure to copy their email address out of the email we sent you, and compose a new email.
(What am I forgetting? If there’s something important that should be on this list, please let me know).